Washers are a common, yet overlooked, fastener that finds use in a wide variety of applications, being especially important in the aviation industry. While coming in a number of forms, washers are generally notable for their flat, circular design where a hole is provided for the insertion of a bolt or similar threaded fastener. Depending on the application, type of washer, and other such factors, washers may perform roles ranging from acting as a spacer to preventing the loosening of bolts. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the most common types of washers used on aircraft, allowing you to have a better understanding of their potential uses and benefits for such applications.
Fixed-wing aircraft and rotary-wing aircraft are two forms of planes that differ in their wing design. Whereas fixed-wing aircraft have wings that stay in the exact same place on the vessel throughout flight, rotary aircraft have a set of rotating wings. Though these two types of planes rely on specially designed airfoils to generate lift, rotary aircraft have the advantage of not needing to move forward in order to fly. Instead, they may fly forward, backward, and side to side, in addition to being able to take off and land from a small space.
Helicopters are a unique form of aircraft, capable of performing maneuvers not possible for many fixed-wing aircraft like hovering, vertical take-off and landing, and much more. With their special abilities, helicopters find use in applications ranging from aerial transportation in dense cities to carrying out military operations. While helicopters equipped with turbine engines can fly upwards of 25,000 feet in the atmosphere, they are more limited when they are hovering. Regardless, both height limitations fall below those of many commercial aircraft, begging the question of why they cannot attain such heights. In this blog, we will seek to answer this question, allowing you to better understand the engineering and aerodynamics of such rotary-wing aircraft.
With a typical fixed-wing airplane, one can now traverse the globe in times never before thought possible, as countries across the world are now just hours away instead of weeks or months. A majority of these fast-moving aircraft utilize a similar design where engines create forward momentum and wings ensure ample lift. These are the types of aircraft that we are used to in our current day, but one may wonder if we have the ability to create the science-fiction-like aircraft that hover, glide, and otherwise have full control of how they move. While these aircraft are fictional, we do actually have some aircraft that are able to take off vertically before gliding forward, not accounting for helicopters.
By far, aviation serves as one of the safest ways to travel, and this is made possible through rigorous regulations and advanced technology. With a variety of robust systems, pilots are provided ample assistance and aid during various flight conditions, ensuring they always have the tools and resources at hand to efficiently and safely carry out an operation. For instance, the landing process can be complex, especially if weather phenomena detracts from overall visibility of the runway. As landing without visuals would be highly dangerous, pilots utilize what is known as the Instrument Landing System (ILS) to optimally touchdown at the end of a flight.
Whether an aircraft is being turned over between flights or simply needs to be refueled before its next operation, a majority of servicing and flight preparation is carried out through the use of ground support equipment (GSE). There are many types of GSE, including equipment that aids in repair, overhaul, refueling, parking, towing, baggage transportation, and much more. As critical resources for basic aircraft management and preparation, it is very important that operators maintain the functionality and reliability of their arsenal. In this blog, we will discuss GSE in more detail, allowing you to better understand how to best manage and source such equipment for your operational needs.
Across the globe, thousands of commercial flights are scheduled everyday, and a single airliner will often conduct multiple flights back to back with a tight schedule. To meet the demands of passengers and to ensure minimal downtime between each flight operation, airliners will need to rapidly be serviced, inspected, turned-over, and more. To carry out all the tasks required to prepare an aircraft for its next flight, ground service equipment (GSE) is used. GSE comes in a number of forms, ranging from equipment used to transport baggage to vehicles that provide fuel. In this blog, we will discuss some of the most common types of GSE, allowing you to better be aware of how airliners are serviced.
Whether one is operating a simplistic drone for hobby piloting or an advanced model for scientific pursuits, most drones rely on propeller assemblies for the means of creating lift and conducting flight. With their role in making flight possible, it is crucial that drone propeller parts are regularly maintained and replaced as necessary before an issue or failure occurs. To effectively manage the health of aircraft propeller parts while saving money, it is paramount that one determines the correct time to replace drone propellers. By familiarizing yourself with the common signs of wear and impending failure, you can ensure the continued health of your system while only conducting maintenance when necessary.
One of the most critical elements of aviation safety is communication. Over the years, aerospace engineers have developed multiple sophisticated measures to help aircraft maintain verbal and nonverbal communication with ground authorities and other aircraft. One such piece of technology that has stood the test of time is the transponder, which remains a vital piece of aircraft safety and functionality even 60 years after its invention. In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about transponders, including their history, design, and current implementation.
Vertical tail fins provide control and stability to aircraft as air flows around them. Typically offering pilots command over the yaw axis, vertical tail fins also house a controllable rudder and a trim tab for fine-tuning during takeoff, cruise, and landing. Pilots achieve such maneuverability by using their foot pedals and auto flight systems. The shape and size of the fins are dependent on the type of flight and maneuvers the aircraft is intended to carry out.
Modern aircraft feature an immensely complex electrical system that supports vital avionic equipment and in-flight entertainment systems. With a combination of both AC and DC buses, as well as an intricate network of monitoring devices, nearly every region of the aircraft is integrated with electrical wiring or other similar components. However, despite the robustness of these systems, there are many parts of the airplane that are not meant to encounter electrical currents and must be protected. In this blog, we will discuss bonding jumpers, those of which are used throughout an aircraft to preserve non-electrical surfaces, and to provide a means of grounding.
The final approach and landing of an aircraft is a complex process, requiring pilots to carefully control speed, orientation, engine power, and other flight characteristics for safety and efficiency. Depending on the type of aircraft one is flying, the various equipment present on the vehicle, and the specifics of the airport that one is landing at, the particular procedure of landing one undertakes may differ. While observing aircraft as they land, one may notice that a large number of them land while pointing their nose at an inclination. This is due to the way in which aircraft conduct their landings, and this blog will help you to better understand why planes land on rear wheels with their nose angled upward.
With drones garnering popularity for commercial, artistic, and exploratory purposes, an interest in their maintenance and repair has become commonplace. Similar to other mechanical devices, drones have limited service lives that can be extended with proper care and maintenance. As such, this blog will cover how to maintain drones and their related parts.
Like most transportation vessels, aircraft need to be regularly serviced to ensure proper functionality. As such, there are many different ways of scheduling maintenance and services for different aircraft. For example, all commercial planes need to be inspected prior to each flight, while light aircraft are annually checked after being in service for a specific number of hours. In the case of commercial helicopters, maintenance is a routine procedure used to guarantee safe flying conditions.
While most aviation enthusiasts and passengers notice the propellers commonly found on famous aircraft like the C130, Spitfire, and Dash 8, usually little thought is given to how they work. Indeed, the aerodynamics of propeller propulsion are incredibly fascinating, and the design of such assemblies has been dramatically upgraded over the years. This blog will discuss the basic aerodynamics of propellers, their pitfalls, and why they must spin in a particular direction.
Of the hundreds of controls found in the cockpit of an aircraft, one of the most important and readily used is the thrust lever. They are found in every aircraft that has an engine, and while their location and size may vary, their operating principle remains the same. This article will discuss the purpose, location, and types of thrust levers in airplanes.
The aircraft rudders are one of the primary controls of countless aircraft types, allowing for the pilot to manage the positioning of the rudder surface. Like most other flight controls, the rudder serves as a surface similar to aircraft wings, capable of affecting aerodynamics for the creation of lift in a specific direction. The rudder is mounted to the vertical portion of an airplane’s tail section, and the surface is oriented so that it may deflect left or right. With its actuation through the use of rudder control equipment, the nose of the aircraft may be pulled left or right.
While serving as a technology that has long benefited flight since the early days of aviation, aircraft propellers are robust structures that are still found on countless aircraft models for propulsion generation. Many aircraft propeller system types have come about over the years as well, each of which feature various differences in their design and functionality. In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the most common propeller hardware types so that you may be aware of their various advantages, disadvantages, and uses.
To take flight, helicopters utilize a combination of specialized components to achieve such capabilities. While most modern helicopters come in a variety of sizes and shapes, the critical apparatuses that comprise the aircraft remain fundamentally the same. To achieve flight, primary components of a helicopter consist of the airframe, fuselage, landing gear, powerplant, transmission, main rotor, and anti-torque system. While all of these parts are needed and contribute to flight, the rotor system in particular is a major section that separates helicopters from other aircraft types. Without these correlating sections of the rotorcraft, flight would be compromised and unsafe for pilots.
Aircraft drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft that fly without the need of a pilot on board. While many individuals may be familiar with the drones that serve defense applications and hobbyists, there are also numerous types that are used for science endeavors, search and rescue missions, environmentalism, and more. Regardless of what a particular drone is used for, it is important that they are well maintained and inspected on regular intervals to ensure their longevity and performance.
While the main rotor of a helicopter is paramount for flight, the tail rotor is also an assembly that is crucial for safely operating the rotorcraft. Aircraft tail rotors are part of the single rotor design of helicopters, and they are the type that most are familiar with. Consisting of small rotor blades vertically attached to the tail of the helicopter, the assembly ensures that reactional torque created by the main rotors does not have a major detrimental effect on performance and safety.
The oil system of an aircraft is paramount to its performance, allowing for numerous parts to be lubricated and cooled during standard operations. Over time, oil may be exposed to numerous contaminates that can affect performance, and common contaminants include gasoline, acid, dirt, moisture, carbon, and metallic particles. To prevent these contaminants from having major effects on the lubrication system, the regular draining and replacement of oil should be conducted. In some cases, however, maintaining the oil system may require more than simply replacing liquids as one may need to clean parts, check aircraft oil filters, replace damaged components, and more.
To put it simply, a marine gauging system is a vital piece of marine machinery that is located on the tanker of a vessel and which is used to evaluate the contents inside the tank. For more information on the marine gauging system, the article below will go into depth on the many different types of ship tankers.
Aircraft maintenance refers to the regular performance of tasks required to ensure the lasting airworthiness of an aircraft or aircraft parts. This includes overhaul, inspections, replacement, engine fuel monitoring, aircraft tyres checks, defect rectification, modification, and adherence to airworthiness and repair guidelines. Given the ongoing global health crisis caused by the impact of COVID-19, aircraft maintenance, a profession in which workers operate in close quarters, has inevitably been affected.
If you are just starting out in the aviation mechanics industry, you might know that deciding the size of the propeller was likely the most important thing that you can learn. With enough time and practice, anyone can begin to recognize what types of propeller is necessary for you to use. In this article, we’ll discuss the procedure to choose a propeller for a plane structure.
The helicopter rotor system is the rotating section of the aircraft that generates lift. The rotor is made up of the mast, hub, and rotor blades. The mast is a hollow, cylindrical metal shaft that extends up from the transmission. In some configurations, the transmission also supports the mast. Atop the mast lies the attachment point for the rotor blades. This is called the hub. The rotor blades can attach to the hub through a variety of means. In fact, the type of rotor system is determined by the way the blades are attached to the hub. There are three different rotor systems: semirigid, rigid, and fully articulated. This blog will explain each of these rotor systems, as well as the rotor types themselves.
Rivets are an indispensable mechanical fastener for the construction of aircraft assemblies. Rivets feature a cylindrical shaft that has a head on one end and a tail on the other, providing the ability for the rivet to be passed through components before the tail end is made into another head. When the tail is formed into a head, the rivet then acts as a permanent fastener, supporting tension and shear loads without the risk of loosening. While solid rivets have proved their use since the Bronze Age, they always require access to both sides of a component for proper installation and head formation. This can create problems and consume time for aircraft assembly where accessing the other side of a component proves to be very difficult. Luckily, fasteners such as blind and pop rivets solve this problem by allowing installation from one side of the component. In this blog, we will discuss what blind and pop rivet parts are, and how they differ from each other.
Altimeters are a very useful tool for a variety of applications including flying aircraft, hiking, climbing, skiing, and more. Altitude measurement is made by determining atmospheric pressure, otherwise known as barometric pressure. Atmospheric pressure refers to the pressure that is caused by gravity pulling in the air from the atmosphere towards Earth. As pressure is caused by the accumulated air weight, atmospheric pressure is reduced while travelling upwards in elevation. With an understanding of atmospheric pressure and how it differs depending on elevation, we can now discuss how the altimeter aircraft feature provides pilots with altitude readings.
When designing rotor blades for a new helicopter, the length is often decided based on the intended application. With longer helicopter rotor blades, more powerful lift can be achieved which is optimal for carrying heavier loads. Smaller blades on the other hand allow for less drag and faster achievable speeds. With the advent of new technology and capability, the ability to have both types with the same rotor may soon become a reality.
Making difficult decisions in life is something you’ll encounter in any type of work. From administrative work to government and the medical field, difficult decisions are being made every day. What some people might not know is that the supply chain industry involves much decision making and the choices made here can be significantly influential. Take equipment and machinery selection, for instance. Some managers and inventory specialists will be tempted to select the items that save the most costs, but those decisions can potentially come back to haunt them when these cheaper items will inevitably falter. Read on below for a closer look at this in engine hoist selections.
Piston engines serve as one of the most popular forms of engines that are used today. Any adult who drives may not even realize that they rely on a piston engine everyday as almost every automobile utilizes one. Smaller aircraft also utilize piston engines for their fuel combustion and functionality. So what are piston engines, and how do they work?
If you’ve ever boarded a plane and were fortunate enough to have a seat by the window, you’ve probably seen the curve at the tip of the aircraft wing. While the design certainly looks cool and sleek, there is a functional purpose for having this curve on an aircraft. These curves are called aircraft winglets and their purpose is to reduce wingtip vortex and vortices.
id you know that there are about 550 pounds of paint that is coated on the average airplane? That amounts close to 70-950 gallons of paint used and about $200,000. Needless to say, the task of painting an airplane is no small feat and if you are just entering the realm of aviation and aviation parts, then it might benefit you to learn about what it takes to prepare a newly fledged or veteran aircraft for flight. Paint, much to every novice’s surprise, plays an essential role in that.
By 2018, the consumer drone market reached over $1 billion in sales. Given how ubiquitous unmanned drones are now, this is unsurprising; drones are used in everything from farming to photography, from scientific research to traffic management. They are also an increasingly popular private hobby for individuals and competitions. But just like any other machine, drones are susceptible to mechanical fatigue and wear and tear, with their propellers in particular being vulnerable to failure. In this blog, we’ll break down some key reasons for replacing your propeller.
Relays have several important uses in electronics. A relay is powered by a small electric with the ability to turn a larger electrical current on or off, like a switch. Joseph Henry, an American electromagnetics scientist, is credited with creating the concept of switching large electromagnets on and off.
The next time you’re outside, turn your eyes to the sky and you will most likely see a few vapor trails above us. These are the white wispy lines that jet engine planes paint across the great blue sky as they zoom across the horizon. These lines are made by the engines inside the plane that powers them, specifically, jet engine propulsion. This type of engine converts energy rich liquid fuel into a powerful force called thrust. The thrust, in combination with lift, forces air past the wings to power it into the sky and enable flight. Let’s explore how jet engines function and how they vary from piston engines.
It’s an exciting time for the helicopter industry—new innovations and upgrades are on the forefront of technological development for Helicopters. Advancements in overall structure, engine components, and design are changing the way we conceptualize— and use—these aircraft. Traditional rotor systems are getting a facelift, and Bell is one of the companies paving the way for the future of helicopter operation.
The concept that led to propeller propulsion was derived from the rotating screw design, invented by Archimedes in 200 BC. This design was used to lift water from wells and was an inspiration for Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machine. Although his helicopter-like design was never built, it inspired many aviation innovators. By the mid-1700s, the rotating screw design was also used in marine propulsion.
One of the most important parts of any rotorcraft is undoubtedly the rotor. But the blades are a close second. Afterall, for rotorcraft, the rotational movement of the blades is the only reason that the aircraft can even achieve lift and fly. For rotorcraft like helicopters, lift is achieved when the rotor blades (airfoil) meet the oncoming airflow and deflect them, creating a change in the direction of the airflow, which results in an area of low pressure forming behind the leading edge of the upper surface of the blade.
The propeller is the one of the most vital parts on your aircraft, and one of the most vulnerable. The aircraft propeller is the main component used to generate thrust, consistently stressing the propeller. The likelihood of the propeller sustaining damage is substantially higher than it is for the rest of the airframe. So, it’s important to care for the propeller and conduct regular visual inspections. Fortunately, proper propeller care doesn’t require a specialized technician, nor will it take a lot of time. By following these few easy steps, you can remain vigilant on your propeller’s condition and remain confident when cruising at 15,000 feet.
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